The history of Braamfontein does not begin with the gold rush; it stretches out into the mists of time long before people walked this land. There is a sense of wonder to this deep past that brings out a childlike curiosity in even the most staid grown-up.
Inspired by the 2018 discovery of a giant dinosaur, Ledumahadi mafube, in the Highveld, this sculpture juts out of the ground like a long-buried treasure. It is made of cracked granite offcuts, large stone pieces arranged to create a twisty spinal column, an artistic interpretation of the dinosaur’s bones as they were found. The artist often uses industry waste or obsolete archives to build site-specific artworks where the meaning of the artwork is also carried in the material from which it is created.
The stones are spaced playfully as stepping stones, cutting diagonally across the park to invite visitors to stand – all but literally – on the bones of history. Given its size, one might assume the best way to view the artwork is from above, but it has been deliberately placed to focus on ground-level interaction. The visitor is invited to climb the stones and use their imagination to enable appreciation of the piece as a whole. It invites exploration and play, creating an opportunity for discussion around how our evolving understanding of the past impacts our lives and decisions in the present.
The sculpture invites visitors to interact with ancient times, inspiring healthier futures.